Rachel is a museum educator and museum adventurer based in New York City. She currently works at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum as the Manager of Public Engagement, a role focused on free-with-admission experiences that can surprise visitors and make them think in new ways. She has also worked as an educator at other museums in New York (the Brooklyn Museum, MoMA, the Met) and London (Dulwich Picture Gallery and the Courtauld Gallery), and run educational trips for teens around France with the American Council for International Studies. Her academic training is in art history and French (a BA from Wellesley College and an MA from the Courtauld Institute of Art). If you have burning questions about French and British etiquette manuals and menswear tailoring magazines of the 1870s, she may well know the answer. In addition, Rachel has worked in other aspects of the art world including galleries and appraisals, so you might also get good stories if you ask her about the time she held a lost Leonardo da Vinci painting or had to figure out how much Marilyn Monroe’s wardrobe was worth. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter as @TheArtRopeik or at her website: www.rachelropeik.com
A specialist in Renaissance and Baroque art, Irina Oryshkevich teaches art and architectural history at Columbia University where she also earned her PhD in 2003. She has published numerous articles in her field, worked for several New York Old Master galleries, and received fellowships for her academic work from the National Gallery in Washington, the Fulbright Foundation, the Getty, the Society of Fellows and the Italian Academy (both at Columbia) and the American Philosophical Society. In addition to teaching in her area of specialization, Irina, a native New Yorker with a deep interest in local history, has been offering a class on the architecture of New York City at Columbia for the past four years.
Louis Mazzari has taught American history, art, and literature for a dozen years in Istanbul, Turkey, at Bogazici University, the country’s most renowned university, and he now also teaches in the City University of New York system. He has published books and articles on the cultural and political history of the U.S. with the university presses of LSU, Yale, and South Carolina. His New York work has included a study of the documentary aesthetic of photographer Berenice Abbott. Mazzari previously served as managing editor of the anthropology journal Identities: Global Studies in Culture and Power, and he worked on the editorial staff of the Harvard Educational Review. His years in a variety of classrooms have focused on the intersection of the artwork and its cultural history, and he speaks to American art’s profusion and its diversity of intentions and effects. That mix of art and culture is at the center of his presentation of the abundance of the Met’s American Wing.